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Survivers relive hostage ordeal

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Survivers relive hostage ordeal


One of the survivors of Monday’s Philippine hostage drama has been describing the ordeal.

Identified only as Mrs Leung, the weeping woman told reporters how her husband died trying to overcome the hostage-taker, Ronaldo Mendoza.

Her two daughters aged 14 and 21 were also killed and her son, 18, was badly injured. He is now in intensive care.

Mrs Leung is trying to understand how the situation turned so ugly.

“The gunman didn’t want to hurt us but because negotiations failed, then he wanted to kill people,” she said. “Money, why couldn’t we have given money? I can’t understand why money couldn’t have been given to him.”

During the day-long drama, Mendoza released 10 of the initial 25 hostages. But as police tried to storm the bus he began firing his M-16 assault rifle

Tracey Wong, 15, was still on board when the shooting began. As she described how she hid under a chair to stay safe, she had yet to be informed her parents had both been killed.

But there are also tears and anger on the part of Mendoza’s family, which watched the drama unfold on TV.

His father Leonardo believes authorities should look into how Mendoza’s claims of unfair dismissal from the police force were handled.

“We are asking for help, especially from the president,” he said.

“Everyone should understand my son was driven to this because his case was dismissed by the Philippines National Police and never heard.”

Newspaper reports in the Philippines say 55-year-old Mendoza was one of five officers charged with robbery and extortion. The case was brought after a hotel chef claimed police had planted drugs on him and then tried to bribe him.

Despite protesting his innocence, Mendoza was thrown out of the force.

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